COMMENT: In past discussion, we have chronicled the Eurozone crisis as a manifestation of successful German economic and political warfare against fellow EU countries. We have also noted that the GOP in this country is advocating the implementation of similar austerity policies in the face of this country’s recession.
Paul Krugman’s latest column notes that the IMF (not exactly a bunch of fellow-travelers) has fundamentally repudiated the austerity doctrine as applied to weakened economies.
Comparison by the Germans and their Underground Reich allies of the U.S. economy to that of Greece are fallacious, and designed to rationalize the type of horrifying, wrenching budget cuts here.
In the past, we have noted the elevation by the EU of the fascist LAOS party to become part of the Greek provisional government in the late fall of 2011.
Since the same bitter medicine is being prescribed for America’s ills, let’s take a look at just what “austerity” is actually like for the average Greek.
Predictably, the social dislocation produced by such hardship is feeding grass-roots fascist political sentiment and xenophobia.
If you don’t like what you see, get busy before you experience the same thing!
EXCERPT . . . It has been a common secret among PE teachers for some time now that they don’t expect pupils to do PE any more, because many of them are underfed and get dizzy. . . .
EXCERPT: . . . . A trauma therapist, following his trip to Athens, has described the social consequences and the total collapse of the Greek economy, provoked by the German austerity dictate. The therapist provided supplementary training for his Greek colleagues, which was deemed exceedingly necessary because of the consequences of the crisis. In the process, he also became acquainted with the Greek social situation and since has been complaining of the “gigantic obscurantist capacity” of Western Europe, where the austerity policy is being continued, in spite of the catastrophic situation in Greece. For example, “entire residential blocks (...) are deprived of oil deliveries for financial reasons.” Illegally felled trees are the sole source of heating. Whoever must go to the hospital, “must bring his own sheets and bed covers, as well as the own food.” “Since the cleaning personnel was fired, doctors, nurses and orderlies, who, for months, have not been paid, are cleaning the toilettes.” The EU is warning of “the danger of an outbreak of infectious diseases because of the devastating hygienic conditions.” The trauma therapist reported that “women, in their late pregnancies, have to beg from hospital to hospital, because, having neither health insurance nor enough money no one wants to help them.” The elderly, whose pensions have been cut in half, cannot even afford important medicine. Since the crisis began, the rate of suicides, on the other hand, has not been cut in half, it has doubled.
According to the report, one need be “neither a pessimist nor an expert, to imagine what this means for interpersonal relations” as well as “for the cohesion of Greek society.” Rage against Greek politicians and “international policy of financial installments flowing into bailing out the banks, but not the people,” is “tremendous and continues to grow.” A society that can provide at least protection from the worst, would be able to absorb this rage, but Greece no longer has even this possibility, explains the trauma therapist. In Greece “the functional society was progressively undermined until it collapsed like a dilapidated house,” because “the crisis has destroyed the welfare state.” Rage is now turning into aggression and violence. As a matter of fact, in traditionally hospitable Greece, attacks — particularly against migrants — have suffered a vast increase. “The number of violent mobs that attack minorities is growing.“
Human rights organizations have already been complaining about this for months. For example, following the murder of an Iraqi refugee in Greece, Amnesty International discerned a growing frequency of racist-motivated attacks. The UN High Commission on Refugees reported in October that between January and September, alone, 87 xenophobic-motivated attacks had been counted. This is “exceptionally alarming,” particularly in consideration of the fact that the actual numbers are likely to be far higher, since victims were either too scared to report attacks to the police or were turned away, when they did. The repressive forces are also using excessive force against migrants. In mid-November, the US Embassy in Athens issued a travel warning against a rise in violent attacks against persons who, because of their complexion, are perceived to be foreign migrants. Certain neighborhoods of Athens are considered “no go areas” for migrants.
Plans for a Putsch
In the throes of the crisis, the rapid rise of xenophobia that has overcome Greece is flanked by a just as rapid rise of the extreme right. The neo-Nazi Chrysi Avgi party (“Golden Dawn”), which is particularly known for its violence against migrants, won 18 seats in parliament in the last elections and — according to opinion polls — could win 12 percent today. Last fall, one of their parliamentarians declared that the party is waging a “civil war” against migrants and the left. According to publicist, Dimitris Psarras, who, for the past 20 years has been doing research on the Chrysi Avgi, “the escalation strategy (...) has a primary significance” for that party. “It is similar to the strategy of Italian neo-fascists in the 1970s and 80s: escalate the conflict on the streets, between the right-wingers and left-wingers — and in the case of Greece, the migrants — to create a climate of insecurity, so that a putsch can be justified.” Psarras points out that not only the Greek neo-Nazis, but even “serious media organs (...) are speculating on possible plans for a putsch.” He finds, “if the political and economic situation becomes even more instable and the society, more polarized, anything is possible.“
EXCERPT: Vanna Mendaleni is a middle aged Greek woman who until now has not had vehement feelings about the crisis that has engulfed her country. But that changed when the softly spoken undertaker, closing her family-run funeral parlour, joined thousands of protesters on Thursday in a mass outpouring of fury over austerity policies that have plunged ever growing numbers of Greeks into poverty and fear.
“After three years of non-stop taxes and wage cuts it’s got to the point where nothing has been left standing,” she said drawing on a cigarette. “It’s so bad families can no longer afford to even bury their dead. Bodies lie unclaimed at public hospitals so that the local municipality can bury them.” . . . .